If you truly believe in God and His Word, believe He will provide you with the wisdom, knowledge and provisions He promises, believe He cares for you more than the birds of the air, you have faith, but it is dead without taking action.

Up until recently, my faith had not really been tested.  I was living comfortably in my "Cliff-made" environment, enjoying a fairly routine life, with no real need or desire to change.  That was until I felt God was calling me (with only a couple of months notice) out of that situation and I was faced with having to make some serious life changes.

Over the past six months, I have moved out of a city (carrying only four pieces of luggage) where I lived for fifteen wonderful years and have some of the best friends anyone could ask for, out of a great home I resided in for ten years, left an amazing church of nine years to a state where I only knew a couple of people, started a new job in a somewhat new field of expertise, lost that job four months later and moved into a guy's place who I found on Craig's List.

To what some may consider a series of "un-wise" or foolish decisions, leading to a year of upheaval in my life, I have made some amazing new lifelong friends, found a new church home, become part of a great small group, discovered some new ministry opportunities, broadened my perspective and participated in some amazing challenges.

The only reason I am able to have such a positive outlook on my very tumultuous life is because I truly believe I am where God wants me to be and doing what I believe God is leading me to do. 

I have made a conscious choice to be intentional and purposeful in my decision making process to take action based upon my faith.

This is what the ancients were commended for (Hebrews 11:2).

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family (Hebrews 11:7).

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he onsidered him faithful who had made the promise.  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore (Hebrews 11:11-12).

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance (Hebrews 11:13).

Faith does not mean seeing the whole path before you take action and, as the ancients found out, taking a step of faith does not even ensure you seeing the results of what you started.  Faith is being obedient to what you believe you were called to do and "sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).

However, faith is nothing unless we live it out, "and without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).

What has been on your heart recently?  What do you believe God has been prompting you to do that you have been avoiding?  Where is God calling you to go?

How are you going to take a step of faith today?

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to CYdmg@yahoo.com. 

**This article first published on August 19, 2010.